obituary of the author in 2010.
Her response to my query about which book she would recommend as a first dip was pure envy that I had them all to read.
I began with Madensky Square, and fell in love. Eva Ibbotson's writing is magical. They have that fairy tale quality of innocent and good young women who fall in love with powerful men. Her books are populated with wonderful characters - not all of them good!
The temptation was to glom her entire list, but I restrained myself, keeping them for those moments when you need a special book. I have read The Morning Gift, the Magic Flutes (which won Romantic Novel of Year) and I had A Company of Swans on my Kindle - a little gift to myself, waiting until I needed the perfect book.
This week I decided to read a Susanna Kearsley I had downloaded. I clicked the title, lay back in the bath and began. I was immediately swept up in the story but thought, this is very odd. This doesn't read like any Susanna Kearsley, I've read. If I didn't know better, I'd have said it was an Eva Ibbotson. And of course, when I checked, I'd clicked on the title above and had begun A Company of Swans by accident.
This is a magical story of a girl who finds the courage to defy her appalling father and aunt (very fairy story!) and run away with a company of dancers to perforSwan Lake m in the heart of the Brazilian jungle. I'm about two-thirds of the way through (you didn't think I could stop when I discovered my mistake, did you?) and it is utter bliss.
The hardest thing is to take is slowly, because I want it to last. I don't want it to end. How many books can you say that about?